A need for flexibility and structure to reach target groups

Orion is the largest pharmaceutical company in Finland and operates globally. Their website serves as a global business card for the most important stakeholders. The main goals with the site are to build the brand and the employer brand, convey information, and highlight Orion's innovativeness and responsibilities as a company.

Over time, the website had been updated with new sections and features, which had altered its appearance and decreased uniformity. While Orion has grown as a company, its key stakeholders have also shifted and grown. Furthermore, search engine optimization, content discoverability, and marketing were limited in the old CMS.

"The old Orion.fi website had simply come to the end of the road. The website renewal sought, above all, to change the contents, structure, and visuals, as well as review the functionalities," says Mari Lautsuo, Orion's communications manager. 

Serves business goals and showcases the core of the company

To create a website that serves business and communication goals and provides a great user experience, Knowit and Orion started with a conceptualization phase. In workshops with Orion’s various units, we focused on key strategic goals and desired target groups, to transform the needs into a concept. This information was supplemented with qualitative interviews, to map how and what information is sought on the site, and in which matters Orion can serve its target groups in a meaningful way.

Clarity was one of the key elements desired, which meant simplifying the website structure, visitor paths, and visual uniformity. All design elements and features were designed with user orientation, accessibility, and data controllability as the main goals.

The website's new visual appearance also stemmed from the many discussions about Orion as a company, its rich history and ironclad expertise in the field of innovative drug development and research. The new look went under the working name "Microbes," which respects the company's innovativeness and communicates reliability, while at the same time taking a stance against the conservative and generic design language in the pharmaceutical industry.

The illustrations for the site were created by Vesa Vuorio, a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. 


Microbes narrate ideas about organicity, the birth of life, and survival in extreme conditions – and embody connections to the work of a researcher,


says Knowit Experience senior designer Marjukka Savolainen about the creative process behind the visual concept.

Careful conceptualization laid the foundation for smooth implementation

To promote a faster user experience, the new site was implemented on the Optimizely Content Cloud 12 platform.

"I believe that it really produces tangible savings, when you don't have to spend so much time maintaining the site anymore – not to mention the pleasant experience when updating the pages," says business unit lead Sara Sällsten, Knowit's project manager.

Two keys to the smooth implementation were Knowit’s extensive Nordic network, which ensured that the local developers had the necessary support for the new CMS version Optimizely 12 and the meticulous conceptualization.

Among the new features on the site, Sällsten particularly highlights the newsroom, which was highly prioritized during the conceptualization phase. This feature was followed up and further researched to adapt it to Orion’s needs. Now, it is easy for end users to find and browse up-to-date content, adapted to their own interests.

"After that follow-up, the implementation work was really straightforward. Specs defined in agile development can change, but there was no practical need for it here, when the groundwork was done so thoroughly."

A website that is adaptable and ready for the future

Following the implementation, Orion has a new website where users can quickly navigate to the right information, with the fewest clicks possible. The visual concept has been welcomed by the organization and represents Orion's cutting-edge research and development work. This is a visual design that can adapt to a wide range of corporate visual needs – a complete concept that is connected to Orion’s core values, know-how, and closeness to people.

With multiple add-ons to the previous website, a need for future flexibility was foreseen. Orion's new site is adaptable and expandable. As regards the tech aspect, the site was implemented in such a way that the foundation can be used for a wide range of new needs that may arise in the future. Thanks to the combination with Optimizely DXP hosting, this means that the large organization can have several sites, which enables centralized management and better lifecycle management for online services.

The close collaboration between Knowit and Orion continues through further development. While the site was developed, the user data collected revealed further needs to be met and additional features to be developed. Next, Orion plans to renew the websites of its subsidiaries to match the look of the group website.

The new site was a great success in understanding the motives and goals of the target groups. It is clear and supports our brand image as an innovative company with top talent. Thanks for the great work to Knowit Experience and everyone involved in the project. 

says Lautsuo, who is very satisfied with the end result. 

How the solution contributes to Agenda 2030

10. Reduced inequalities – Structure and design are thoughtfully created with accessibility in mind, making it possible for everyone to access the information presented on Orion's new website.

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Sara Sällsten
Business Unit Lead
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